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Old 02-24-2016, 10:33 AM
bg7
 
7,694 posts, read 10,563,106 times
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[quote=Acajack;43128970]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Italian (x)lurker View Post
cheap oil, growin economy, a massive space to develop and an individualistic spirit have driven Americans into living in the suburbia by leaving city centers
but that kind of suburb are a huge waste of money and time if one think deeply
and I also feel alienated if I wouln't know my neighbours...[/quote]

I find it funny how people always say that American suburbanites don't know their neighbours.


I know part of that myth comes from a certain fringe of Americans who are pro-city and anti-suburb, but it generally isn't true at all.


Americans in the suburbs are probably much more likely to know and socialize with their neighbours than city residents in the U.S. are.


Populations in the inner city (especially in apartments) in American cities tend to be much more transient than in Europe where you often have Madame Dupont who's lived on the 3rd floor for 40 years, and several generations of the Moreau family have lived on the 2nd.


With few exceptions, you don't often have that in the U.S.


The stable, long-term residence patterns are more in the suburbs there.


So while there are not often nearby opportunities to socialize outside the home like a ground-floor café, the suburbs are still generally more "social" than the inner city which tends to be more impersonal and anonymous.


There are many, many problems associated with American suburbs. But this is not one of them.

I totally agree. I lived in NYC for nearly 20 years and London for 20 years before that. While I made many friends in the city, in NYC a lot of people wish to remain anonymous. Communities are often transient with people moving in and out and while you meet new people all the time, the lack of meeting the same people (eg at the park, theater, on main street, at the cinema etc), does not facilitate long term community relationships. We've never had so many friends and actual community as we have now in the suburb where we live (not just people thrown into situations where they have to band together to exist against rent increases, gentrification etc etc). Community involvement, volunteering, working together to keep parks and the shore clean, local art competitions, cooking competitions, parades, action programs, poverty outreach, firefighting and EMT volunteering and fund-raising etc... is huge here. Dinner parties, ski trips, surfing clubs, cook outs, pool parties, sleepovers, spontaneous soccer and basketball games etc etc. I'm not dissing big city living (it can be great) but the daft, concreted, stereotypes people have about American suburban living (btw our now suburban town was founded in the 1660s) are just based on people's biases, not universal actualities.


I also don't drive my car unless I'm doing a trip at the weekend of buying bags and bags of shopping. There's no need.
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Old 06-03-2017, 01:22 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,475 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge Bueno View Post
Europeanflava,

"Because West Europe cities are more close and more pedestrian friendly. You will not look stupid for traveling by foot throughout much of Western Europe like you will in much of America.

American cities are more spaced out and more dependent on transportation to get places."

This is true, in your opinion is the pedestrian friendly nature of European cities superior, inferior, incomparable etc.. to North American cities?

I am of the opinion that more pedestrian friendly cities are far superior to car dependent cities. I don't think I am alone in thinking this at all, but yet the vast majority of housing in the US is built along the car/sprawl model, this include many of the largest metros in North America. Do people really prefer this way of living? Or is just that the market offer few alternatives and the walkable alternatives on offer are typically expensive places to live and relatively rare in North America.
Except what does "built along a 'car/sprawl' model" mean?

People have a WOEFULLY mislead view of what American urban living is like. I'm not sure how European cities like London don't qualify as sprawling? Also, sprawl vs density has zero to do with nice architecture, great nightlife, good restaurants, interesting museums...most small towns in America have city centers, and "suburban sprawl" is a relatively recent development almost exclusively limited to the outer regions of certain sunbelt cities.

The quality of British cities, for example, drops off steeply from London, and even then, you still have suburbs quite near the metro area full of tract housing similar and often worse in quality than many American suburban developments.

The only suburban/urban development area that I've visited in the US, my hometown, that remotely resembles the structure you describe, is Murfreesboro, Tennessee, just outside Nashville. But ugly, strip-mall-like stretches of ASDA's and gross Fish and Chip shops and Nando's and McDonald's are as ubiquitous in the U.K. and Germany as they are in less urban America. They're actually uglier and not as convenient, IMO.

In fact, many suburban developments in the U.K., Germany, and even France are being developed, today, like sunbelt suburban tracts were being developed in the US back in the 50's. Whereas American suburbs have undergone extensive tear-downs and redevelopment to the extent that many suburban areas of the US are termed villages, with small, quaint downtowns. In any event, American suburban housing is typically much more varied and much more luxurious and exquisite, with ample tree canopies and public parks as well.

Also, America is a more car centric culture, not only because of its values, but because it is one of the biggest countries on the planet. Americans can afford more than their across the pond counterparts on average, and it has far more wilderness and much less development than Europe. This is a positive.

European countries typically have one knockout city, maybe 2, and outside the cultural gems (who even then are not safe) they have endless stretches of mediocre, sprawling semi-suburbs (who cares if two of the buildings date back to 1080) and quaint but boring, bland wilderness covering a smaller stretch of country.

You can get everything you get in a European city in an American one and then some, and the plus side is, America also has way better stretches of wilderness than almost anywhere in Europe, and the planet, for that matter.

Last edited by wildbunch22; 06-03-2017 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 06-03-2017, 01:38 PM
 
2,631 posts, read 2,051,515 times
Reputation: 3134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post

I find it funny how people always say that American suburbanites don't know their neighbours.


I know part of that myth comes from a certain fringe of Americans who are pro-city and anti-suburb, but it generally isn't true at all.


Americans in the suburbs are probably much more likely to know and socialize with their neighbours than city residents in the U.S. are.


Populations in the inner city (especially in apartments) in American cities tend to be much more transient than in Europe where you often have Madame Dupont who's lived on the 3rd floor for 40 years, and several generations of the Moreau family have lived on the 2nd.


With few exceptions, you don't often have that in the U.S.


The stable, long-term residence patterns are more in the suburbs there.


So while there are not often nearby opportunities to socialize outside the home like a ground-floor café, the suburbs are still generally more "social" than the inner city which tends to be more impersonal and anonymous.


There are many, many problems associated with American suburbs. But this is not one of them.
I know it's old, but this post is absolutely spot on. The American sense of community is very much alive in the suburbs despite some silly narrative created by foreigners that every house is an island and the we live isolated lives. Until I started browsing C-D, the concept of isolation in the suburbs was alien to me. The only people who are isolated are those who choose to isolate themselves.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Windsor Ontario/Colchester Ontario
1,803 posts, read 2,229,126 times
Reputation: 2304
Well maybe some European cities should emulate some North American cities!

Here's a video of some people from France who visit Montreal for the first time. Their enthusiasm and admiration of the city is truly eye opening and their responses are shocking and emotional, please watch, it's a very cool video.

https://www.mtlblog.com/news/this-vi...-just-watch-it
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:45 AM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,588 posts, read 27,394,395 times
Reputation: 9059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Return2FL View Post
I know it's old, but this post is absolutely spot on. The American sense of community is very much alive in the suburbs despite some silly narrative created by foreigners that every house is an island and the we live isolated lives. Until I started browsing C-D, the concept of isolation in the suburbs was alien to me. The only people who are isolated are those who choose to isolate themselves.
I agree with both you and Acajak. I don't know where the non Americans got that idea from but the suburbs, and even the residential areas of many main cities are social and you know who your neighbors are. One week the Martins will have a gathering then the Baxters and the Garcias, Sanchez's etc.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:14 AM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,588 posts, read 27,394,395 times
Reputation: 9059
Quote:
Originally Posted by North 42 View Post
Well maybe some European cities should emulate some North American cities!

Here's a video of some people from France who visit Montreal for the first time. Their enthusiasm and admiration of the city is truly eye opening and their responses are shocking and emotional, please watch, it's a very cool video.

https://www.mtlblog.com/news/this-vi...-just-watch-it
My knowledge of French has pretty much left me but even if you know no French, you can tell that they thoroughly enjoyed Montreal.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Plague Island
779 posts, read 596,393 times
Reputation: 1265
Quote:
Originally Posted by North 42 View Post
Well maybe some European cities should emulate some North American cities!

Here's a video of some people from France who visit Montreal for the first time. Their enthusiasm and admiration of the city is truly eye opening and their responses are shocking and emotional, please watch, it's a very cool video.

https://www.mtlblog.com/news/this-vi...-just-watch-it
?

Montreal is pretty much the most Europeanesque city in North America.

To me, their reactions seem completely over the board, way too dramatic aka fake.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,891 posts, read 1,685,896 times
Reputation: 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by HumbleMerchant View Post
?

Montreal is pretty much the most Europeanesque city in North America.

To me, their reactions seem completely over the board, way too dramatic aka fake.
Probably they say the truth. Montreal must be truly lovely. But this is clearly a promotional video for the city.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:32 PM
 
Location: San Jose
2,594 posts, read 1,241,822 times
Reputation: 2590
A good example of a very American city that has all of the features you would want in a city is Chicago. Its dense, built on a grid system, has good public transportation, lots of in city green space, majestic skyline, and is entirely walkable. At the same time it is very prototypical American city, one you would never confuse it for a city in Europe. I would much rather have American cities take after Chicago then a European city. We have a great template already here, lets copy that. Ditto New York as well.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Seoul
11,554 posts, read 9,329,863 times
Reputation: 4660
Quote:
Originally Posted by North 42 View Post
Well maybe some European cities should emulate some North American cities!

Here's a video of some people from France who visit Montreal for the first time. Their enthusiasm and admiration of the city is truly eye opening and their responses are shocking and emotional, please watch, it's a very cool video.

https://www.mtlblog.com/news/this-vi...-just-watch-it
Montreal is a beautiful city, but it just doesnt compare with a city like Paris or Lyon. Montreal is one of the best cities in North America; Paris is one of the best cities in the entire world
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